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Non-toxic Cleaning Tips

In many cases, preventive measures can avoid problems like clogged drains and baked-on oven messes. When trouble strikes, try non-chemical solutions first. These require extra effort but are non-toxic and safe for the whole family.

With drains

  • To keep drains clear, regularly use products with enzymes that break down grease and soap (such as Drano Buildup Remover or Liquid Plumr Buildup Remover).
  • Prevent clogs by pouring boiling water down a slow drain. Repeat if needed.
  • Try making your own home-made drain cleaners using our Green Cleaning recipes.
    Translation is available in five languages (pdf):
    English | Cambodian | Chinese | Spanish | Vietnamese
  • Use a plunger on a stopped-up drain or toilet.
  • Use a “plumber’s snake” to clear stubborn clogged drains or toilets.
  • If all else fails, call a plumber.

In the oven

  • Prevent baked-on messes! Wipe up spills right away.
  • Place a foil-lined tray on the bottom rack to catch spills.
  • Spot clean your oven regularly. Dirty ovens are less energy-efficient.
  • Scrub with a scouring pad for most surfaces.
  • Use a spatula or bread knife to get under large food deposits.
  • If your oven needs cleaning, use an all-purpose scouring powder or a less toxic commercial cleaner without lye.
  • Don't use an oven cleaner inside a self-cleaning oven.

Links to other sites

Washington Toxics Coalition
Local Hazardous Waste Program